Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Circle of Life (food-compost-food)!

The first Composting is EZ with Elisa Zazzera has blown Roots & Wings’ simmering composting commitment into a steady heat—of 110 degrees Fahrenheit to be exact! (see below for details)

Two free Composting is EZ workshops are coming up this month: Thursday, July 16, a general class, and Thursday, July 30, geared specifically for apartment dwellers. Both classes are 6:30 – 7:30 PM in The Kitchen Garden. Register here!

The eight of us attending the first Composting is EZ workshop were already involved in composting. Elisa asked each of us to tell the group about our composting habit. We quickly moved from this composting confessional to composting coaching. Elisa looked over Roots & Wings’ compost bins, recommended two handy tools—a compost crank aerator and a compost thermometer, and answered all of our questions with can-do enthusiasm. 

Elisa gave us the encouragement we needed to open Roots & Wings' compost bins to the community.

CSA Manager Nancy Delmerico followed up by inviting all CSA members to participate in Roots & Wings composting. She says, “it’s wonderful to see people coming on Sunday mornings with containers and bags full of kitchen scraps.” 

CSA member David Starkey, co-owner of Sweet Grass Grill in Tarrytown, and Tomatillo in Dobbs Ferry, asked, "Can we bring restaurant veggie scraps? We compost at Sweet Grass but never had the room in Dobbs." Roots & Wings' Gabriela Munoz checked with Elisa Zazzera and got the thumbs up on veggie scraps but a “no” for meal leftovers, as they are likely to include oils/fats and could perhaps have some animal products mixed in. 

And Linda Jo Plat, dropped off rabbit manure from CommunityNursery School.

Says Marcello Taiano, Roots & Wings Garden Manger, “We used our new composting thermostat and found that our compost pile was at 110 degrees. The optimal range for organic material to break down is 120 - 170 degrees Fahrenheit, so we're getting there!"

Register for a free Composting is EZ workshop now! Thursday evenings 6:30 - 7:30 PM at The Kitchen Garden, behind South Church in Dobbs Ferry

Frittelle di Fiori di Zucca

Fresh and local deep fried zucchini flowers are a special appetizer at Sam's Italian Restaurant in Dobbs Ferry right now—thanks to a Roots & Wings CSA connection!

Nancy Delmerico and her husband Donnie Vitagliano were enjoying dinner at Sam’s and they got to talking to long-time friend Maurice Giliberti, the owner, about her new position as Roots & Wings CSA Manager.

Do they have zucchini blossoms, Maurice asked, adding that he’d been getting them shipped in from Israel. Donnie says, “Are you kidding?!” The rest is history.

Stop into Sam's and have a taste of Frittelle di Fiori di Zucca courtesty of Rexcroft Farm, the provider of Roots & Wings CSA!  (recipe below, too)

1-2 cups of roughly chopped zucchini flowers (with the stem removed and interior material removed)
1.5 cups of flour
2 tablespoons of baking powder
1 cup of milk
1 egg
¾ tablespoons of salt
1 pinch of black pepper
Oil for frying 

The technique is fairly simple: start by mixing the flour, baking powder and salt together.
Grab another bowl and mix the milk, egg and zucchini flowers.
Combine the dry ingredients well and fry until crispy and golden (about 4 minutes if your oil is at the correct temperature).


You can also simply take a single blossom, create a simple batter, fill the intact blossom flower with a single anchovy or a bit of ricotta and deep fry until golden brown.